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Did Hitler Want War?


On Sept. 1, 1939, 70 years ago, the German Army crossed the Polish frontier. On Sept. 3, Britain declared war.

Six years later, 50 million Christians and Jews had perished. Britain was broken and bankrupt, Germany a smoldering ruin. Europe had served as the site of the most murderous combat known to man, and civilians had suffered worse horrors than the soldiers.

By May 1945, Red Army hordes occupied all the great capitals of Central Europe: Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Berlin. A hundred million Christians were under the heel of the most barbarous tyranny in history: the Bolshevik regime of the greatest terrorist of them all, Joseph Stalin.

What cause could justify such sacrifices?

The German-Polish war had come out of a quarrel over a town the size of Ocean City, Md., in summer. Danzig, 95 percent German, had been severed from Germany at Versailles in violation of Woodrow Wilson's principle of self-determination. Even British leaders thought Danzig should be returned.

Why did Warsaw not negotiate with Berlin, which was hinting at an offer of compensatory territory in Slovakia? Because the Poles had a war guarantee from Britain that, should Germany attack, Britain and her empire would come to Poland's rescue.

But why would Britain hand an unsolicited war guarantee to a junta of Polish colonels, giving them the power to drag Britain into a second war with the most powerful nation in Europe?

Was Danzig worth a war? Unlike the 7 million Hong Kongese whom the British surrendered to Beijing, who didn't want to go, the Danzigers were clamoring to return to Germany.

Comes the response: The war guarantee was not about Danzig, or even about Poland. It was about the moral and strategic imperative "to stop Hitler" after he showed, by tearing up the Munich pact and Czechoslovakia with it, that he was out to conquer the world. And this Nazi beast could not be allowed to do that.

If true, a fair point. Americans, after all, were prepared to use atom bombs to keep the Red Army from the Channel. But where is the evidence that Adolf Hitler, whose victims as of March 1939 were a fraction of Gen. Pinochet's, or Fidel Castro's, was out to conquer the world?

After Munich in 1938, Czechoslovakia did indeed crumble and come apart. Yet consider what became of its parts.

The Sudeten Germans were returned to German rule, as they wished. Poland had annexed the tiny disputed region of Teschen, where thousands of Poles lived.

Hungary's ancestral lands in the south of Slovakia had been returned to her. The Slovaks had their full independence guaranteed by Germany. As for the Czechs, they came to Berlin for the same deal as the Slovaks, but Hitler insisted they accept a protectorate.

Now one may despise what was done, but how did this partition of Czechoslovakia manifest a Hitlerian drive for world conquest?

Comes the reply: If Britain had not given the war guarantee and gone to war, after Czechoslovakia would have come Poland's turn, then Russia's, then France's, then Britain's, then the United States.

We would all be speaking German now.

But if Hitler was out to conquer the world — Britain, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, South America, India, Asia, Australia — why did he spend three years building that hugely expensive Siegfried Line to protect Germany from France? Why did he start the war with no surface fleet, no troop transports and only 29 oceangoing submarines? How do you conquer the world with a navy that can't get out of the Baltic Sea?

If Hitler wanted the world, why did he not build strategic bombers, instead of two-engine Dorniers and Heinkels that could not even reach Britain from Germany?

Why did he let the British army go at Dunkirk?

Why did he offer the British peace, twice, after Poland fell, and again after France fell?

Why, when Paris fell, did Hitler not demand the French fleet, as the Allies demanded and got the Kaiser's fleet? Why did he not demand bases in French-controlled Syria to attack Suez? Why did he beg Benito Mussolini not to attack Greece?

Because Hitler wanted to end the war in 1940, almost two years before the trains began to roll to the camps.

Hitler had never wanted war with Poland, but an alliance with Poland such as he had with Francisco Franco's Spain, Mussolini's Italy, Miklos Horthy's Hungary and Father Jozef Tiso's Slovakia.

Indeed, why would he want war when, by 1939, he was surrounded by allied, friendly or neutral neighbors, save France. And he had written off Alsace, because reconquering Alsace meant war with France, and that meant war with Britain, whose empire he admired and whom he had always sought as an ally.

As of March 1939, Hitler did not even have a border with Russia. How then could he invade Russia?

Winston Churchill was right when he called it "The Unnecessary War" — the war that may yet prove the mortal blow to our civilization.

Pat Buchanan's book on the causes of World War II, "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War,'" can be purchased through at To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



18 Comments | Post Comment
Pat, Your comment (the Danzigers were clamoring to return to Germany.) both disgusts and alarms me. I had no idea that you were so ignorant and uninformed. Where did you get the idea that Danzingers were for Hitler? Are you just counting the races of the population? There was no clamoring for change by the people of Danzig, mixed Polish and German populations, that had lived together in the area for more than a thousand years.
My Father-in-Law was stationed at Westerplatte at the outbreak of the War. He had a German name (Kepka, the same name by the way as the SS Commander of Poland during the Occupation) but was a Colonel in the Polish Army. He later was awarded the highest possible medal in the Polish Army for his actions here as well as during the entire was, ending with the Battle of Berlin. His chest was filled with medals, all earned in heroic, patriotic service. The Polish Governance awarded him the medal (Virtuti Militari) in 1976.
For you to come here now and try to change the facts to suit your new idea of history has revealed a basic flaw in your moral and intellectual makeup.
I can no longer accept your "pundit" style advice as you have thoroughly ruined your credibility.
It is time for you to retire.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Peter Kane
Tue Sep 1, 2009 3:11 PM
Buchanan: Your casuistry never fails to amaze me. It,casuistry, approaches that of Buckley in his early years. However, I am not aware of Bill being an apologist for Hitler. To wit: Dunkirk, "let them go"!! Forget it. Chalk it up to one of the high commands, read Hitler, many mistakes. Listen to Lord Haw Haw and other Brit Nazis, Hitler was sure the Brits would be partners. As for Poland, that was just a line in the sand, and about time. Chamberlain's "peace in our time" rang pretty shallow after the Czech aberration. All in all yours and Churchill's : unnecessary war" was tye most necessary in modern history. Churchill changed his mind as did FDR. I didn't realize just how reactionary you are. Reactionary is Ok but wrong is unbelievable.
Comment: #2
Posted by: alf1052
Tue Sep 1, 2009 4:20 PM
Buchanan: What you write is terribly wrong. I don't know on what presumptions you write about Danzingers attitude towards Hitler, why do you pretend to don't know facts like Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, restrictions on German army after WW1, or many other common stated facts. If Hitler was so pacefully minded why'd he atacked France - except formally joining war they'v done almost nothing aginst him? Why he killed so many in camps? Why he raised such fanatic nationalism in his nation? Was he pretending when he wrote Mein Kampf? Do you know the term: casus belli? And most of all why do you think that accepting his war threatning demands would stop him from doing a single thing he done?
Comment: #3
Posted by: SirK
Tue Sep 1, 2009 6:04 PM
Byuke. I do appreciate your brave attempt to go against the flow. But you need to look elsewhere for competent notoriety.

Your error is to try to rationalize Hitler's behavior. He was not rational. He took advantage of leaders who were, and actually ridiculed those who tried to treat him as if he were. I'm sure you've seen the famous film of Hitler's speech before the Reichstag, in which he ridiculed Roosevelt for sending Hitler a communique requesting his assurances he would not invade a whole host of countries, Poland and even England among them, to the howling laughter of the mob (whoops, I meant august legislators) present. This was a case of mass insanity, and a lesson to us all about how quickly our humanity can be hijacked by a maniac with charisma and natural skill at hawking simplistic notions of how to make life better by picking on defenseless scapegoats.

What in the world do you think was going on his mind when he opened the eastern front against Russia, at once halving his military power and turning them instantly into our ally? It sure wasn't magnanimity, or forbearance, or any other rational synaptic process as you suggest might have been going on in his mind when he chose not to follow those refugies from Dunkirk across the English Channel into England and finish the job.
He could, of course, have done just that in a blitzkrieg flash, and the world, including the holy US of A, would have stood by and let it happen. (As you know, it was Roosevelt's brilliance to trick the U.S. Congress into declaring war on Germany by allowing Pearl Harbor to happen.) It's just that Hitler's synapses weren't firing so as to hit the target. He was a nut, and fortunately for us, so much of one he could not quite take sufficient advantage of his sociopathy to be successful.

If you want to go somewhere significant, I suggest you write so as to help the masses (including our august legislators) to see how close they are to becoming part of a similar mob in the future. It could happen here.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Masako
Tue Sep 1, 2009 7:05 PM
Many of Buchanan's misstatements, lies that is, are covered by previous comments and I won't bother with them.

What I will say is this: Buchanan's Hitler essay serves the great purpose of exposing what lying hypocrites Buchanan, and all his pals, have been for the past 40 years. Notice how many times, over and over for decades, Buchanan and the "Right" have pointed their finger at Chamberlain to try and justify one American military assault after another. The "Right" has invoked the specter of Hitler and Nazism as their clarion call to arms so many times it makes my head spin. But to now, have the nerve to suggest Hitler was after just one town, Danzig, and WW2 would have thusly been avoided had not Britain not declared war, is almost too preposterous for words and makes a richly deserved mockery of the countless invocations of Hitler from Buchanan and his pals over the decades.

Buchanan is and ever will be a pernicious liar, fraud, and con. He will never read these comments.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Lawrence Berg
Wed Sep 2, 2009 10:10 AM
Pat, thank you for this article and the alternative interpretation of history. It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to design history to one's agenda.

Thanks again and please write more.


Comment: #6
Posted by: Rodrigo Riadi
Wed Sep 2, 2009 6:37 PM
What is the comment? "Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it?" (sorry if not exact text). Mr. B seems to be a smart well-read person, yet he actually believes the appalling claptrap (old expression) that he writes about. It would be okay if his diatribes were on the fringe where much of this sort of thing languishes, but Mr. Buchanan has a national pulpit (MSNBC, etc). The unfortunate truth is that if enough is said and written about a fantasy such as this one, then the fantasy becomes truth (Lenin?). One hopes that Buchanans rants are sent to the dust bin of history before this happens. Good luck to all of us who are rational.
Comment: #7
Posted by: john K
Fri Sep 4, 2009 1:03 PM
Hitler is a very cool guy
Comment: #8
Posted by: candy
Tue May 18, 2010 12:28 PM
Hitler is a very good person he did what he thought was right for germany Go HITLER
Comment: #9
Posted by: candy
Tue May 18, 2010 12:29 PM
There is a lesbian ugly girl named Faviola
Comment: #10
Posted by: candy
Tue May 18, 2010 12:31 PM
omg i Luv Jose
Comment: #11
Posted by: candy
Tue May 18, 2010 12:32 PM
i am a princess
Comment: #12
Posted by: candy
Tue May 18, 2010 12:39 PM
Excellent analysis Mr. Buchanan!
But, as most comments show, your brainwashed compatriots lack the basics of the conflicts called WWI and II.
Just two examples:
"There was no clamoring for change by the people of Danzig, mixed Polish and German populations, that had lived together in the area for more than a thousand years"
Rubbish. Virtually all Germans wanted Danzig to remain German. From its foundation, Danzig was a German city (less than 5% Polish workers in 1939), taken away from Germany by the United States. Yes, the US, because it was the US decision to fight Germany, that decided WWI, not British nor French troops.
"If Hitler was so pacefully minded why'd he atacked France - except formally joining war they'v done almost nothing aginst him?"
Are you kidding?
What is "peacefully minded" Germany supposed to do when the highly armed neighbour France declares war? Going to her knees and pray? The US is attacking countries on every continent without nobody threatening them, let alone declaring war.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Sylvie
Wed May 26, 2010 1:35 PM
Bravo, Buchanan! Your words come like fresh well water after a long drought. I intend to purchase your book immediately. Danzig bleibe ewig Deutsch! The other commentators here need to read David Irving's excellent books about Churchill's War and Hitler's War, which largely support your theses. History, dear people, is ALWAYS a work in progress, just as is science. Do not fear new perspectives on old issues; welcome them. Think for yourself!
Comment: #14
Posted by: Klingsor
Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:07 AM
Re: Rodrigo Riadi

Is any historian capable of writing contrary to his or her own agenda? Unlikely. That's why we who love the study of history must go on reading and, if we can, writing! Best wishes to Pat Buchanan, and to you, Rodrigo!
Comment: #15
Posted by: Klingsor
Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:11 AM
An astute, honest assessment of what happened during that catastrophic conflict. Would that we had more honest historians like Mr Buchanan. The nasty responses from the usual enemies of free speect show that you are on target. I hope you won't allow them to suppress your views. As Napoleon is reputed to have stated, 'history is an agreed upon set of lies by the victors'. Never was this more true than about the period 1933-1945.
Comment: #16
Posted by: brian boru
Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:12 AM
The Poles have payed a high price for their warmongering.TheS.U. invaded them and slaughtered thousands of Poles, in fact a good parrt of the polish elite (Katyn).Churchill ordered the killing ofther hero Sikorski when the latter realised what mistakes they had made in fighting the germans.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Pattii Gomme
Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:47 PM
Buchnan engages with military common sense uses facts that exist but not used or used so effectively. Hitler never wanted war but only restoration of Germany to a great power status which meant to be able to fight a great war but to remain so not fight one. So he wanted a strong Germany. His 1936 German rearmament was largely a myth. He put butter before guns caring for standard of living of ordinary German. When war broke out Germany was outstripped by its foes in all offensive armament such as fighter planes, bombers and submarines. When he broke pact with Stalin key Soviet formations were already in their launching pads why Wehrmacht just smashed through them .After the war they pinned on him the guilt of everything which happened regardless of evidence. Even Germans shift guilt on Hitler contriving motives . For example the universal belief that he started indiscriminate bombing of civilians when this was not him but British strategy To many he was a messiah for what he achieved in his short spell on earth with advancement in all fields of human enterprise and thought compacted in time , manifolds more than what Moses, Christ and Mohammad put together contributed in their time at a fraction of unending human misery due to effects of their contribution. What Hitler contributed in sciences and technology continues to provide for advancement of man . An excellent historical correction
Comment: #18
Posted by: maj gen aps chauhan
Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:47 AM
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